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Backpacking? Choose Your Pack Wisely

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2011, 10:30 AM
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Default Backpacking? Choose Your Pack Wisely

Before choosing your pack, take these tips and recommendations into consideration. Happy trails!
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:25 PM
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What tips and recommendations? I am very experienced on how to pick a pack but I'm just pointing out that it looks like you might be missing a reference or link in your post. It appears that something's missing.



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  #3  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for your comment. I did forget to add the source. I thought this was an interesting article!!
Backpacking? Choose Your Pack Wisely
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2011, 06:44 PM
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I read the article... and I suspected as much... it leaves a lot of factors out in helping to decide what to use as your guidelines. I won't post them here because there are too many. I'm just suggesting that just like it mentions don't pick the first pack you see at the first store don't rely on the first article you see on selecting a backpack.

No doubt, the three packs recommended are good packs, but there are so many others that are just as good and even lesser price therefore great values. I do agree don't pick a "cheapie" but if you don't know what you're doing how will you know? Most salespersons will sell you along the lines of what you can tell them. What if you don't know what to ask? Fitting it in the store is way different than real world with contents. They might have a great return policy, but that is no substitute for the miserable trip you took because you didn't know what to look for.

I also agree that this is NOT to be done without a lot of investigation. For example, nice padding in the straps and belt are great but too much is heavier and will cause you to cinch tighter which then defeats the comfort.

If you are going to get serious about backpacking, you might have several (like I do) depending on how long your trip will be. Then you must also have a backpack that is not better than you. For example, don't get a 75 liter pack with lots of room if you aren't in shape enough to use it. I am not that young or in the shape I'd like to be in but even struggling with my 65L pack and I'm passing those that are younger and loaded far worse than I and can tell they probably didn't physically prepare, doesn't look like fun. On the other hand, I don't like the minimalist backpacker style either. I like to be completely self sufficient and a minimalist does without a lot to keep the weight down. I also have a 50L backpack but lashing allows WAY more, if needed or over 80 liters. I haven't done that in a while because of the weight.



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Last edited by artmart; 08-29-2011 at 06:51 PM..
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2011, 03:47 PM
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Do the packs these days still come with the aluminum frame?
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:35 PM
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I think the question you are asking is about external frame which is usually made of aluminum... Yes, they are available, but rare since they don't collapse much and are no longer as popular. Look for brands such as Kelty, Jansport, and Mountainsmith.

Do a search for external frame backpacks and you should find plenty.

The reason they are becoming fewer is that the frame is larger than the hardened fiber glass and hybrid plastic frames. An aluminum frame gains much of its strength by being hollow which goes against the size limitations of a backpack. Why have a large backpack that carries your gear if a smaller one will fit the bill? Besides being easier to store, there is less size on your back as you carry it, which provides gains in visibility and movement as you backpack.

There are a few advantages to an external frame pack, if these are important - the Pack can be removed when you want to wash it. And for hunters, you can use the frame to carry a "Carcass". The external frame packs also tend to support better when leaned against a tree or similar when stopping to rest or at camp. The internal ones seem to fall over too easily.

I believe an aluminum frame may be heavier overall, too, which adds to the weight of the backpack itself.

I also believe an aluminum frame is stronger and so you can carry as much as you can, but this is counter to the modern backpacking regime that one needs to carry less weight and stuff, not more.

For me I don't hunt, don't wash my pack much, and rest standing up (I hate using energy to struggle with putting the pack back on) and when stopping at the campsite, the backpack gets emptied out since I'm using all the gear. So I don't need an external frame any longer and if I did, I do have a few.



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Last edited by artmart; 09-02-2011 at 05:07 PM..
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2011, 10:27 PM
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Here's my opinion:

1. That's a good brand and they have other good products, so I do think the backpack would do the trick for some number of years if well treated.

2. It's small (4500) therefore not for long term backpacking, no more than 3 or 4 days depending on how you pack and the gear you put in it. This should make a great weekender or long holiday backpack.

3. It comes with a hydration bladder. How big is the bladder? This will take away from the overall capacity for your gear?

4. Is this the same size as the replacement? If so, you should be fine, as long as your old one had a bladder that took away from the storage. If your old one meant you carried external water bottles you'll be carrying less gear with this one since room is being used by the bladder.

5. Check to ensure the torso length of 14" to 21" fits your body. Not your height, but your TORSO length. Do you know how to measure this? If you are a tall person with a long torso, this might not fit.

6. I like the embedded fanny pack and the rain cover. Provides some versatility for side hikes and cover helps keep things dry. Personally, since I already own these items I wouldn't buy a pack with them there because I'm paying for stuff I already have.

These points come to mind quickly. I hope these help.



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